Sunday, June 14, 2009

A People Willing to Fight for Democracy



Like Dustin, I'm not really ready to say there was outright election fraud in Iran -- there are good arguments for and against there being some -- but what I'm amazed by is how Iranians who do believe there has been election fraud have been so outspoken and vigorously demonstrating against the government.

Just look at them




Heck, this policeman is running away from the protester.




In 2000, we had a blatantly stolen election -- with thousands of black voters being illegally disenfranchised, proper recounts stopped, and all sorts of shady legal shenanigans.

In 2004, many of those tricks returned to deny more people the right to vote and swing another election.

And yet, where was the outrage? The protests? Sure, a small group of committed progressives fought hard, but even the official leadership of the Democratic Party -- you know, those guys who actually were trying to get elected in the elections -- barely put up a fight. They certainly didn't ask their followers to take to the streets and demand electoral fairness and integrity. They tucked their tails between their legs and ran off like a bunch of cowardly mice.

We're told since the day we're born that America has the most miraculous, efficient, and most effective form of democracy in the world. We're told we're a land of freedom and equality, and that our government is one "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

I just don't see any of that as being true when we most of us probably couldn't even name our member of Congress, let alone risk life and limb to fight the results of a rigged election.

If you want to find the true spirit of democracy, you have to go Bolivia or Iran. And whether this election in Iran was stolen or not, the fact that so many people -- especially young people -- are willing to risk everything to make sure it wasn't shows me that no matter what sort of autocrats end up ruling Iran, at the end of the day, democracy is probably even more well and alive in that country than ours, because people actually seem to believe in it.

3 comments:

Bryant said...

The article in the AJC today said that some protesters were actually ripping up Iranian flags.

I'd love to see Americans in the streets of D.C. burning effigies of Uncle Sam.

Iran's silly government is on shaky ground. It has no legitimacy because the people are on the verge of withdrawing their consent. (Notice the similarity with secessionism.)

This is one major reason why attacking Iran would be a horrible idea. The attack would only unite Iranians under their government.

Ryan said...

Here is an interesting read on how the election was likely rigged -

http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stealing-iranian-election.html

Ryan said...

woops, just noticed that link was posted in the article, so here is a youtube video of some of the protests.

some of those 'police' on motorcycles are actually pro-regime paramilitaries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSECAvBTanQ